Because of my history as one of the chosen ones for the 2011 Bloggers Obsession collection, I’m asked about MAC Cosmetics often. Mainly it’s two questions. This post will aim to answer both of them, with a little help from an expert!


MAC lipsticks for women of color


Question #1 – will they EVER bring back All Of My Purple Life?

Answer: I believe it’s still available in Canada, but as far as I know at present MAC has no plans to bring back AMPL. I wish I had better news for you and hopefully someday there will be a full Afrobella collection of cosmetics somewhere, somehow (hey, dream big)!

Question #2What’s the best permanent collection alternative to AMPL? OR What are the best lipsticks for dark skin? OR What are the best MAC lipsticks for my skin tone?

Answer: Good question! There are MAC lipsticks I find myself always going back to, and lipsticks I always find that makeup artists use on me. Still, I can’t claim to be a total MAC expert in the way that my blogging buddies Temptalia or Karen MBB are. I had to reach out to one of my favorite makeup artists, who I KNEW would be able to give me the answers I was looking for. And that person is Nicole Evans, an incredible makeup artist based in Los Angeles.

Every time I’m in L.A and need my face beat to perfection, she is the person I call. Nicole has done my makeup for high profile events like the Beautylish Beauty Social, the BET Awards, the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, my EDEN BodyWorks photo shoot, and the Oscars! I absolutely love working with her because her spirit is so soothing and calming, and you can truly see the pride in her work while she’s doing your makeup. Basking in Nicole’s presence makes me feel good and she ALWAYS makes me look beautiful.

Afrobella Nicole Evans Krystle Rowry Luvvie


From left to right that’s Krystle Rowry, me, Nicole and Luvvie right before the Academy Awards 2012!

Nicole has been working with MAC in Los Angeles for quite some time now, so I know she knows their makeup line inside and out. She works frequently with women of color and is a brown beauty herself – check out her Tumblr for dope makeup inspiration! I had to ask her for her top MAC lipstick color recommendations, and she broke it all the way down into color categories!

Here are the picks for the 25 BEST MAC lipsticks for dark skin and women of color.


MAC red lipsticks

Ruby Woo

Lady Danger

Viva Glam

Hot Tahiti


MAC purples



Dark Side


Model Behaviour

Smoked Purple




So Chaud



Sweet Venom

Pretty Boy




Girl About Town



MAC coral lipsticks

Full Speed

See Sheer

On Hold

Vegas Volt


MAC nudes

To The Future






And those are Nicole’s picks as a professional makeup artist. Click here to hire her for your makeup needs, and click here to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

So what do you think? Do you see any MAC lipstick shades you’re dying to try? Or do you think we should’ve added **insert MAC lipstick color here** to the list? Tell me!


BauceMag says:
March 4, 2013, 4:12 pm
This list is oh-so fabulous! MAC is absolutely one of the best brands for women of color. We picked it too in our 4 best shades >>
nikki says:
March 4, 2013, 4:36 pm
sadly, none of those work for me..
Fullsizebarbie says:
March 4, 2013, 5:38 pm
LOOOOOOOVE this post!
bella says:
March 4, 2013, 6:03 pm
none? We're 0 for 25? Wow! What colors DO you like? Or is it just that you prefer another brand?
bella says:
March 4, 2013, 6:03 pm
YAY! Happy to hear that!
bella says:
March 4, 2013, 6:04 pm
Love it!
Leslie says:
March 4, 2013, 6:33 pm
Love this post!!! I'll use this a guide when searching for a spring shade. My go to Mac lipstick is "O". It looks "HAWT" on a variety of skin tones.
Jo says:
March 4, 2013, 7:53 pm
What about Media and Honey Love? Those are 2 of my favorites
Jasmyn says:
March 4, 2013, 8:59 pm
Wow I'm definitely eyeing that rebel! I've been loving the dark plums and I'm a new 21 so I'm trying to explore some higher quality lip sticks. Thanks for this post I will definitely be referencing this when it's time to go makeup shopping!
Melyssa says:
March 4, 2013, 9:52 pm
Love the list. Ruby woo and violetta are my favourite on it. I think it is missing more pinks especially brighter ones like candy yum yum. They do look gorgeous on some darker tones!
Alice says:
March 4, 2013, 11:27 pm
Girl About Town is the best thing to have ever happened to this girl! I love it and I get so many compliments on it!
Yolanda says:
March 5, 2013, 10:33 am
Love the selection for nudes!!! Thanks, Bella
Lisa says:
March 5, 2013, 2:29 pm
Thank you very much. I have wondered where to begin and this is a great starting point.
Wanda says:
March 5, 2013, 8:27 pm
I love Cyber. I've even used it as a liner with AMPL. I can't wait to try some of the other colors. Thanks for the list.
Dima says:
March 6, 2013, 3:40 am
I love Jubilee, I love Neutrals :D they are my favorite, perfect for all times!
Shepherd says:
March 6, 2013, 6:14 am
Soooo Pretty
Mochacurls says:
March 6, 2013, 9:23 am
I wish they would bring All of my purple life back! I love purple glosses!
Tiffany says:
March 6, 2013, 9:40 am
The colors are great but have they improved the scent? The last time I tried MAC lipstick a few years ago it had terrible waxy/oily smell. And no, it wasn't old. It was a brand new tube in a MAC store. Hope it's different now! :-)
Mlle Parker says:
March 6, 2013, 3:50 pm
Wow..great post..thank you..I was thinking to buy a new lipstick...
MsXpat says:
March 7, 2013, 9:18 am
Another great post that is a big help to me. Ive been seeking my perfect nude lippy. At the moment I've got the Taupe which I am happy with but I like the ones you have in this post too :0)
Sabrina says:
March 8, 2013, 1:45 pm
Thank you for the great list! Plumful is one of the my go-to colors for the fall/winter, and I picked up Lickable last year for the spring/summer. It is one of my favorite pink/fuchsia lipsticks. I bought one of the new MAC mineralize lipsticks in All Out Gorgeous, a nice red that I think is work-appropriate, and I can't wait to try it out.
indieblack says:
March 8, 2013, 4:31 pm
This is so useful! Thanks, Afrobella! It's really difficult to find a lipstick, ugh! I hate going to the cosmetic counter, and then walking away empty handed.
Teevey says:
March 9, 2013, 9:08 pm
Thanks for posting this. I hate experimenting with lipstick at makeup counters. I am paranoid about germs! Also, I have a hard time finding colors for my medium brown complexion since majority of makeup lines cater to lighter complexions. What colors do you recommend for spring?
Grace says:
March 10, 2013, 5:43 pm
Love the pinks.
Ann says:
March 10, 2013, 5:45 pm
Thanks for the list. This is a great collection.
Melitina says:
March 15, 2013, 11:47 am
Awesome!!!!! I own MAC Girl about town and Brave, both of which I love. I also own MAC Viva Glam VI, but find it almost doesn't show on my lips (fail, but at least the funds went to charity). Next on my radar is Lustering, but I MUST get my hands on a coral and/or orange lipstick, so this post is great to begin narrowing down the list! Thanks!!!
pets says:
March 20, 2013, 8:05 am
Love the colours and you 4 ladies look fangtastic(inside family joke)! Afrobella knows her stuff!
nash cruz says:
March 23, 2013, 4:10 am
I love the see sheer shade. Very natural, not too strong. I got mine from
lacquerholic says:
March 27, 2013, 5:14 pm
Candy yum Yum is a no no for black women IMO. I bought it and I look like an extra in a Nicki Minaj video. No bueno. Girl About Town is Fabulous, though and love me some Ruby woo and Rebel. I guess no one does brown lips anymore? Film Noir and Photo were my top two back in the day. Also in the nude category Fresh Brew should be there too!
Emma says:
April 10, 2013, 6:19 pm
What about Lady at Play? I LOVE that color!
Marissa says:
May 28, 2013, 8:26 pm
Thank you so much for this post.
S.K.Falls says:
July 11, 2013, 5:26 pm
Love this list--thank you so much! I'm an NC 17 and it's hard to find recommendations.
Ruth says:
August 8, 2013, 9:08 am
Lol! Thanks so much. was almost getting it.
MsAfriKanaChic says:
September 3, 2013, 10:17 am
I have been wanting a coral and orange lipstick for the longest! I was eyeing Morange but wasn't sure it would work for me. Thank you for this list, now I feel more comfortable trying it for myself!! This is a great list!
beans628 says:
September 25, 2013, 2:34 pm
The list is missing Odyssey -- LOVE! My all time favorite MAC lipstick is Rocker. They brought it back and I missed out but it's a great red for women of color. I'm going to try Rebel. I love the purples!
ati amali says:
September 25, 2013, 6:33 pm
is cherish lipstick good for dark skin tones too?
Dark-Skinned Divas says:
October 9, 2013, 8:24 am
Hi! I am a (very) new Blogger/Make-up Tutorial haver/vlogger (haha) and I love this topic. I own Ruby Woo, Lady Danger (which I am terrified of) Girl About Town, Touched, and Photo (which I think is a great nude for the darker hued woman). I will definitely check out MAC's plum collection, I am a MAC girl all the way! Please check out my Tutorial! Thank you!
SilkOne says:
November 12, 2013, 3:31 pm
I stockpiled AMPL and a couple of other lip colors from the blogger collection! I have a couple of unopened tubes -- wonder how long they'll keep?
Lauren says:
December 14, 2013, 5:51 pm
Anyone if MAC lipstick in smoked purple is still available and anywhere I can buy it in the UK? I've looked on the UK website and it's not there. Is such a nice colour and want it in by kit:(:(
Stacey says:
December 30, 2013, 4:45 pm
Check eBay. There's a couple on there and the seller is not from Canada. I saw it on Amazon just today 12/30/13. Good luck!!
Melinda says:
January 8, 2014, 2:00 pm
I've never tried MAC products, but I will admit to wanting the following... lipsticks...Girl About Town Show Orchid (a gorgeous hot pink) Hot Tahiti On Hold lip glass...Pink Poodle blush...Dollymix Pink Swoon I don't particularly like most of the colors featured in this post, simply because they wouldn't work on me. But I'm sure they would look nice on somebody else. ;)
Takiyah says:
January 28, 2014, 8:27 pm
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Mary says:
February 7, 2014, 2:36 pm
MAC lipstick Photo is actually a good mix in the coral/nude family. I have been using it for years and love it!
Crystal says:
March 2, 2014, 1:19 pm
Thank you for this post. I am in the process of stepping up my makeup game. I am doing tons of research. I can do the basics of foundation, concealer, eyeliner and lipstick/lip gloss. I need to increase my skills and my product inventory. I have added your blog to my Feedly. Also, I clicked the link for Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog. Since I am a visual learner, I have found that her YouTube videos are fantastic. I have subscribed to them too. Thanks a million. Be blessed.
afrosaxon says:
March 4, 2014, 9:05 pm
Underworld used to be my go-to MAC color for YEARS...until it was discontinued and I had to go to Film Noir. Can't find that much either. They've also discontinued my beloved Trance-plant Lipglass. *sobs*
Bukky says:
March 14, 2014, 12:57 pm
awwwww i love it!!! ive been looking for pinks :D
Nikki says:
March 26, 2014, 4:34 pm
I'm late with this post but I love the color selections!
Lia says:
March 28, 2014, 12:01 pm
Heroine is another really great purple that I've fallen in love with!
Dee Dee Russell says:
March 29, 2014, 7:33 am
Thank you for this post. I respect Afro Bella a lot. Sorry to have missed out supporting her lipstick, that is one MAC item I would happily buy. Also I have those MAC colors in various dupes. I'm a dupe fiend. As a former makeup artist, etc. etc. at this stage in my life I do not see the need buy an expensive lipstick I just do color matches using drugstore cosmetics/Sephora brand. I would love to see a blog about dupes. Its a recession not everybody needs nor wants an expensive lipstick. Even if I was a zillionaire I would still use dupes.
Renee says:
May 16, 2014, 1:03 pm
"Velvet Teddy" is also an awesome peachy nude for lighter to medium brown skin towns.
Renee says:
May 16, 2014, 1:06 pm
sorry, i meant skin tones*
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Jessica says:
August 11, 2014, 11:28 am
I saw a link for the all of my purple life somewhere but I can't find it! Darn it!
Rebecca says:
August 16, 2014, 8:36 am
Morange is so juicy, really great for summer.
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Amber says:
October 2, 2014, 12:21 pm
I too am a lover of all things Mac lipsticks...and there were quite a few of favs missing from the list. Some of their best for brown girls: Velvet Teddy (neutral), Up the Amp (Purple/Pinkish), Sin (deep burgandy), Vegas Volt (Coral)
See says:
March 8, 2015, 10:16 am
I think Diva goes pretty nicely with some darker tones, its a lovely red :)
Courtney says:
March 18, 2015, 8:36 am
For a darker color, DIVA matte looks GREAT on women of color as well
Kennda Kali says:
April 27, 2015, 11:43 am
Flat Out Fabulous is an awesome pink Dive and SIn are great deep reds for our tone "O" is an awesome copper/ nude tone for our skin as well.
Kennda Kali says:
April 27, 2015, 11:43 am
NativeNuYorker says:
June 14, 2015, 12:05 pm
I am anxiously awaiting a Summer 2015 update on the Best Mac Lip color for our gorgeous complexions. How much longer?
cyndy says:
July 3, 2015, 1:53 pm
I love mac lipsticks. I am a 56 year old beautiful black women. My question is i love the deep plums and bergundy colored lipsticks. Are thr colors to dark for some one my age. I have a medium brown complexion.
Ruth says:
July 25, 2015, 11:23 am
Cyndy, try Diva, Dark Side, Media, Sin, Rebel. Awesome colors for woc.
Mouri says:
July 28, 2015, 12:41 pm
Just a suggestion : Would like to see these on actual "lips" /person .. Hard to tell which colors would look good on me from the sticks
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Truly says:
January 11, 2016, 1:41 pm
Elle says:
December 19, 2016, 8:19 pm
This site was incredibly helpful. I am a light/medium tone women of color. Love MAC lipsticks. My go to Pinks are Hug Me, Verve, Retro, Fast Play, & Half & Half. My go to Browns are Touch, Photo, & Fresh Brew. Sorta scared of Reds... have Taupe & Paramount.... Any suggestions for Reds & Neutrals?
Jaime says:
January 3, 2017, 5:16 pm
I agree and think this is some of the best lipstick for dark skin!
Viv says:
December 3, 2017, 6:17 am
Great have all my favourites apart from paramount. It's a really lovely shade.
Diane says:
January 1, 2019, 7:35 pm
Ronnie Red